GAA Editor @BrianGBarry
Limerick’s William O’Donoghue says GAA uncertainty is ‘minuscule’ in the big picture
Last Updated: 22/04/20 11:14am
As the situation regarding the coronavirus continues to unfold, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to predict what form the 2020 GAA Championships will take, or if they will occur at all.
For players who are continuing their individual training, it’s a time of uncertainty. But Limerick hurler William O’Donoghue feels that a lack of clarity around his next hurling match pales in comparison to the greater problems facing societ
“There are a lot more things that are frustrating, more so than the season being staggered or halted,” said the Na Piarsaigh club man. “A lot of people including myself can’t be with family relatives or close friends. There are a lot of people making much bigger sacrifices than the interruption we are facing in terms of our GAA calendar.
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“People who are on the front-line, putting themselves at risk, how much longer are they going to have to endanger themselves or stay away from their family or loved ones?
“Issues like that are much more prominent than us having to train with no end-goal in sight. That makes that quite insignificant.
“Everyone on a GAA team has family members or loved ones that they can’t see at the minute, I have grandparents I can’t see. We have to be conscious that there are people making much bigger sacrifices and it would be quite selfish of GAA player to say ‘It’s tough on me not knowing when or if I’m going to have a championship’.
“There are people out there giving up their time and putting so much on the line to try and help the broader community that I think an issue like that is quite minuscule at the minute.”
The GAA’s community response
And while the on-field action has been ground to a halt, the GAA’s membership are doing their bit, helping in communities all over Ireland.
O’Donoghue feels the association’s social conscience is coming to the fore during these unprecedented times.
“It’s obviously filling press and papers…everything else with people’s desire to see championships and the panic around that and there’s talk of the revenue loss and all that,” he noted.
“But when you see what the GAA is doing for people to keep them safe, to keep them in good health and good spirits and make sure they’re looked after I think that’s something that should be publicised a whole lot more rather than the possibility of losing revenue or anything like that.
“Na Piarsaigh GAA, our own club, are running a programme where they are collecting prescriptions and groceries [for members of the community] and there are lots of volunteers.
“A task is put into a Whatsapp group and within a minute I’d say every single one has been claimed that someone will go and do it and I’m sure that’s happening right throughout the country. In times like this you have to look for positives and I think everyone’s togetherness and willingness to support people has been very much a standout positive that I’ve noticed anyway and I think it’s something that people should be much more aware of.”
As for the Treaty midfielder, he’s concentrating on staying fit and being ready for the action, whenever it does resume.
“Like so many other people I’m just trying to stay active,” he said. “I’m just the same as anyone in that sense, putting down a bit of time doing a bit of cardio work and a small bit of gym work with the little equipment we can do. It is nothing too strenuous, it is more about staying active and filling time as it is anything else.
“I do have a wall to hit a ball against. It’s not too complex now, it’s probably the same thing I was doing when I was about eight years of age! But it’s a release, something to do. That’s all you can really do at the minute. You can’t compare it to the work that you would be getting done under normal circumstances because it’s just not relevant. You just have to stay safe, don’t put anyone in danger
“Just stay somewhat sane and keep a positive outlook on everything.”